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Ottawa police chief promises to do better following Panda Game chaos

Peter Sloly says an operational review is underway to further investigate what went wrong before, during and after this year's football game between uOttawa and Carleton University.
Police Chief Peter Sloly at the Ottawa Police Services Board Meeting on January 27, 2020. Kieran Delamont/

Ottawa Chief of Police Peter Sloly wants to ensure the chaos following this year's Panda Game doesn't happen again.

During the Ottawa Police Service Board (OPSB) meeting on Monday, October 25, Sloly said an operational review has been launched to look at the events that took place before, during and after the Panda Game earlier this month. He's hoping it might help provide lessons for next year's rivalry football game between the University of Ottawa Gee-Gee's and Carleton Ravens.

More than 2,000 students took to the streets of Sandy Hill following the game on Saturday, October 2, and some students were seen flipping a vehicle in the evening hours.

Chief Sloly says one of the issues was that the OPS had not anticipated the number of students who showed up that weekend.

"There were double-cohorts of students involved in and around the Panda Game this year," he explains.

The chief says many students couldn't celebrate on campus because of pandemic restrictions. "That's an explanation, not an excuse."

Chief Sloly adds, "more intel, operations as well as community outreach" would be needed nearly a week in advance of the Panda Game to ensure what happened doesn't happen again. He also admits that there were things that went wrong from a policing perspective and hopes the operational review will help the police service be more prepared in the future.

"At the end of the day, we needed to do better in the future, we will do better," says the chief. 

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